Portrait of Dr Geoffery Z. Kohe

Dr Geoffery Z. Kohe

Lecturer in Sport Management and Policy


Originally from New Zealand, Dr Geoffery Z. Kohe joined the University of Kent in February 2018. His research strengths cover socio-cultural, historical and political aspects of sport, the Olympic movement and legacies, national identity and public memory,  the production and governance of sport museums/heritage, and sport and spatial politics.  Recent projects have included examinations of sport organisational politics and sports workers' welfare, critique of sport organisations education programmes, analyses of sport heritage governance, and proposing new methodological possibilities for sport and oral history. He is a member of the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, 'Sport, Legacies and Communities' Research Group, Editorial Board Member and Reviews Editor for Sport in Society, International (External) Collaborator for the Centre of Olympic Studies (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain) and member of the International Sociology of Sport Association and International Olympic Academy Participants Association.


  • PhD, University of Otago, New Zealand (2010)
  • BPhED Hons (First Class – Professional Studies), University of Otago, New Zealand, (2006)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Research interests

In 2019 Dr Kohe co-authored (with Dr Holly Collison, Loughborough University) Sport, Education and Corporatisation: Spaces of connectivity, contestation and creativity (Oxon: Routledge). The work provides the first interdisciplinary, theoretically informed and cross-sector critique of sport organisation, educational entities and commercial stakeholder relations across an array of global, regional and local contexts. Considering examples from the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, Nike, McDonalds, the United Nations and charitable organisations, the research investigates the complexities of ideological forces, stakeholder relationships and social justice and critical action. The work continues Dr Kohe's ongoing interest in organisational relations and politics in the sport sector, and follows previous publications including: High Performance Disability Sport Coaching (Oxon: Routledge) co-edited in 2016 (with Professor Derek Peters); and At the Heart of Sport (Wgtn: NZOC, 2011), the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s centennial history.

Dr Kohe has given keynote lectures in Taiwan and the Czech Republic, and also featured regularly in local, regional and national BBC broadcasts on the London 2012 Olympic Games and related Olympic education and participation legacies. Dr Kohe contributed to the recent 'From London 2012 to Paris 2024: Lessons learned from research into the social legacies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games' symposium; convened by SSES colleague Dr Sakis Pappous and hosted by the University of Kent at its Paris campus. The event brought together key European and international academics, sport policy makers, high performance and grassroots sport organisations and workers, and national sport governing bodies to share knowledge, experience and issues, and propose new directions for collaborative legacy projects. 

Dr Kohe has also served as an advisor for sport museums in Italy, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, and is currently the Director of the country's inaugural National Basketball Heritage Centre (UK). As an officially recognised repository and affiliate of the United Kingdom's Sport Heritage Network, the centre serves as a research hub and has recently attracted further support from the Arts & Humanities Research Council. 

Dr Kohe currently supervises PhD students in the areas of the Olympic movement and sport policy, sport heritage and history, leisure and social media, sport management and organisational politics, and physical activity/sport and Dementia (in collaboration with the University of Worcester's Association for Dementia Studies). Prospective postgraduate students are encouraged to get in contact to discuss supervision possibilities.

Research focus

  • Elite sports workers’ lives and sport organisation contexts and relations
  • Post London-2012 Olympic a/effects & educational & sport policy intersections
  • Sport organisations, charitable trusts & commercial partnerships
  • Socio-cultural and historical dimensions of sport and leisure industries  



  • Renfree, G. and Kohe, G. (2019). Running the club for love: Challenges for identity, accountability and governance relationships. European Journal for Sport and Society [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/16138171.2019.1623987.
    The current context of State sport governance and funding structures in the United Kingdom continue to challenge national, regional and local bodies and community clubs’ abilities to fulfil ambitions to support participation and competition at all levels. Notwithstanding sport clubs’ laudable intentions to support involvement and encourage participation (often with limited resources, guidance and communication from National Governing Bodies (NGB)), clubs face considerable practical, political and ideological constraints that adversely affect their day-to-day operations and ability to translate sport policy in ‘action’ in meaningful ways. Drawing on data from 21 athletic clubs in England, this paper examines how athletic clubs’ relations with the NGB, UK Athletics (UKA), raise questions about the clubs’ individual and collective identities, agendas, ideals and overall value to its members.
  • Faulkner, C., Molnar, G. and Kohe, G. (2019). “I Just Go on Wi-Fi”: Imagining Worlds Through Professional Basketball Migrants’ Deployment of Information and Communication Technology. Journal of Sport and Social Issues [Online]:19372351983639. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723519836396.
    The connection between athletes and technology has developed in recent years, with the focus on how lives are augmented and presented through this relationship. Building on previous reflections concerning the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to support the sometimes fractious experiences of sport migration, we suggest a need to develop our understandings of migrant athletes’ use of ICT by interrogating socially-embedded processes driving its usage. In so doing, we draw on 18 semistructured interviews with professional basketball migrants based (at the time) in the United Kingdom but whose seasonal work moves them frequently across the globe. We explore these participants’ experiences through the lens of Appadurai’s model of scapes and disjuncture. With this framework we explore themes of negotiation, need, expectation, and barriers. Consequently, we propose expanding how we understand migrant athletes’ relationships with technology.
  • Kohe, G., Purdy, L. and Hughes, C. (2019). Playing Nostalgic Language Games in Sport Research: Conceptual Considerations and Methodological Musings. Quest [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2019.1578246.
    As researchers interested in social aspects of sport, we enmesh ourselves in the work of memory, (re)membering and forms of ‘capturing’ sport and sport experiences. While nostalgia is at play in these social constructions of sport, for researchers we contend that the concept of nostalgia can prove devious. In this paper, we illustrate the social significance afforded to nostalgic experiences or events, and consider their representation in social sciences sport research. We develop and apply arguments concerning the senses, nostalgia, and language in line with the ‘abilities’ view of concepts. The consequences of nostalgia can, we contend, be underplayed, taken for granted and/or ignored by sport researchers in ways that curtail more critical readings of sport phenomena. Our purpose is to interrogate the construction and a/effects of nostalgia as hidden/implicit/latent and heuristic. We advocate methodological critique that addresses the elusive, apparent, ‘capturable’ and confusing nature of nostalgia within sport research.
  • Solves, J., Pappous, A., Rius, I. and Kohe, G. (2019). Framing the Paralympic Games: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Spanish Media Coverage of the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games. Communication & Sport [Online] 7:729-751. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/2167479518808237.
    In recent years, there has been an increased emergence of studies focusing on the media coverage of the Paralympic Games. Until recently, studies have predominately used quantitative content analyses that, although providing useful interrogation of observational patterns, limits the understanding of and appreciation for the contexts that may have shaped the production of information. By focusing exclusively on the ‘what’ and on the ‘how much’ it is difficult to reveal the ‘why’ and to identify the underlying motives of any changes. This paper recognizes the nuances of the editorial decision-making process by using a mixed methods approach; employing quantitative and qualitative data drawn from a case study focusing on the Spanish media coverage of the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. An initial content analysis of all news published in Spain’s twelve highest-circulation newspapers during Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games was undertaken. Subsequently, 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted with journalists that were also sent to these two iterations of the Paralympic Games by Spanish media. Drawing on conceptualisations of media framing, the results highlight that the numerical data alone shed insufficient light on the complexity of the news-making process. The semi-structured interviews brought to light issues such as editorial management buoyed by commercial imperatives, and organisational interjection in journalists’ narratives and authorship, that also contoured coverage and content. In addition to further debate about the complexities of media coverage of Paralympic sport, the study also underscores the utility of incorporating and combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies within sport media and communication research.
  • Kohe, G. and Warren, M. (2019). Crafting critical echoes in sport organizations: Oral histories of, and possibilities for, the New Zealand Olympic Committee. The International Journal of the History of Sport [Online] 36:1234-1255. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2019.1703689.
    Sport organizations’ digital spaces (e.g. organizational websites, fanzines, blogs, electronic repositories and social media) are, potentially, rich empirical terrain in which sport narratives may be (re)presented, mobilised and challenged, and content disseminated to wider audiences. Drawing on New Zealand’s participation in the Olympic movement, and the national Olympic Committee’s efforts to embrace historical thinking, we consider the confluence of oral and digital approaches. More widely, we examine how sport organizations might utilise oral histories and digital spaces to engage audiences more effectively with critical understanding of the past. To note, progressive shifts in museum and heritage studies have advocated ideological and institutional redirection, critical reflection and radical departures from traditional representational practices. In these processes, oral histories have been identified as a key means to these ends. Presenting vignettes constructed from interviews with sport participants, we interrogate connections between oral history, narrative making and public heritage praxis.
  • Russell, C., Kohe, G., Brooker, D. and Evans, S. (2019). Sporting Identity, Memory, and People with Dementia: Opportunities, Challenges, and Potential for Oral History. The International Journal of the History of Sport [Online] 36:1157-1179. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2019.1703690.
    We report on a unique project which utilized oral history methodology undertaken with four people with dementia to explore their sense of identity within the context of their sports/physical activity histories. An oral history approach was advantageous in understanding the values individuals ascribed to sport/physical activities within their contemporary identities and daily lives. Findings and conclusions were made possible that would have been inaccessible using alternative methodological approaches, such as documentary analysis, because the project explored intersections between memory recollection and creation and first-hand experiences of physical praxis. The challenges encountered, and learning points identified from the data are discussed. We posit that when participant and contextual sensitives and sensibilities are adopted (here with a special cohort), oral history may work as an effective method of enabling reflection upon times past for a group of people as yet under-represented in sport history literature. In this way, oral history can enable historical experiences to be brought into the light, enjoyed, scrutinized, and understood.
  • Kohe, G. and Collison, H. (2018). Playing on common ground: Spaces of sport, education and corporate connectivity, contestation and creativity. Sport in Society [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2018.1555219.
    In this article we examine connectivities within the ‘messy’ organizational commons of sport, education and corporate partnerships. As scholars forewarn, there are currently key stakeholders within the commons that that have set agendas, occupied ideological and physical terrain, and legitimized a presence and authority. The intertwining of organizations here is an evident function of an increased symbiosis between sport, education and governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to carve out significant sector spaces, and exert authority and power over the creation, implementation and ownership ‘collaborative’ and intersectional work. Drawing on spatial theorists, Henri Lefebvre and Yi Fu Tuan, and examples from FIFA and the IOC, we present a conceptual framework of global stakeholder relations. Focusing of processes of thought, production and action, we offer an intersectional critique of the nuances of Sport–Corporate–Education nexus and consider possibilities and potential for sport education spaces to be reconfigured anew
  • Wise, N. and Kohe, G. (2018). Sports geography: new approaches, perspectives and directions. Sport in Society [Online]:1-11. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2018.1555209.
  • Kohe, G. and Purdy, L. (2018). Analytical attractions and the techno-continuum: Conceptualising data obsessions and consequences in elite sport. Sport, Education & Society [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2018.1467398.
    The proliferation of sports science and technological innovation within performance settings has precipitated the generation of increasing volumes of data to aid athletes. Copious data production has also perpetuated the privileging of scientific information, and a ‘thirst’ for ‘more data’ as an unproblematic ‘truth’. Of significance is not merely the use of technology for the production of data-for-data’s sake, or the utility of data for a greater cause (e.g., the good of the team), but the quest for personalised data for individual athletes to be analysed, and reflected upon ad nauseam. Furthering scholarship on disciplining bodies, we argue that increased technological consumption, and the related excessive quantification of athletes’ bodies via data production, adds further insecurity into performance sports work. Finally, attention is given to the cultural step-change new techno-dispositions may now present.
  • Purdy, L., Kohe, G. and Paulauskas, R. (2018). Changing it up: implications of mid-season coach change on basketball players’ career and professional identities. Sport in Society [Online]. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2018.1445991.
    Career and professional identities are utilized as a conceptual framework to consider the complexities of basketball players' working lives amidst mid-season coach change. Seven male professional basketball players, working in top European leagues, participated in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were centred on career trajectories and incidents of mid-season coach change. Results indicate sports workers' career success is contingent upon strategically undertaking identity work in order to best respond to the demands of the organizational context. Players' experiences of coach turnover, for example, may have varied however, the event had discernible influence on how they understood themselves, their positional relationship and overall longevity in the sport. Of concern is the necessity for organizations to appreciate their roles in shaping the settings in which their employees work, and the related consequences that contextual changes have in worker's abilities to labour and the strategies they may need to utilize to cope with such change.
  • Postlethwaite, V., Kohe, G. and Molnar, G. (2018). Inspiring a generation: an examination of stakeholder relations in the context of London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics educational programmes. Managing Sport and Leisure [Online] 23:391-407. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/23750472.2019.1591296.
    The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (London 2012) inspire a generation legacy aim targeted young people in the United Kingdom (UK) and internationally. This article explores how the London 2012 education-based legacy programmes aimed at young people, such as the Get Set initiative, affected relations between stakeholders connected to the Games. Utilising a stakeholder relations theoretical perspective we analysed documentary-based dialogue from a UK parliament Education Committee inquiry through a critical discourse analysis. From the analysis two discourses emerged. Firstly, around clarity of the purpose of the London 2012 educational programmes. Secondly, varying stakeholders’ understanding during the inquiry of the inspire a generation legacy aim was articulated around the notion of a “missed opportunity,” in particular, when translated into the domestic policy context around education and sport. The findings encourage stakeholders to reflect on potential fragmented accountability between sport mega event and domestic sectors; and achieving greater clarity to the purpose of legacy-based educational programme within a broader policy context.
  • Kohe, G. (2017). Running with the ball? Making a play for sport heritage archives in Higher Education contexts. International Journal of Heritage Studies [Online] 24:256-269. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2017.1378910.
    For considerable time, academia (in particular, the Humanities) has been in an intellectual, economic and pragmatic par des deux with the culture and arts sector (in this case, heritage, museums and archives). In many ways, given their respective pursuits of scientific enquiry and learning, valuable contribution to a knowledge economy, commitment to public enlightenment, and exploration of critical and creative endeavour, a relationship between the sectors makes sense. Unity notwithstanding, the relationships have become increasingly now influenced by (en)forced contextual constraints (e.g., government policy development and intervention, neoliberal market forces, structural and ideological shifts in funding acquisition and allocation, patronage changes and demands, and/or individual political priorities) (Dubuc 2011; McCall and Gray 2014; Watson 2002). Drawing on education and heritage scholarship, and theoretical frameworks of sport culture spaces (Hardy, Loy and Booth 2009; Phillips 2012; Pinson 2017), this paper examines efforts undertaken at one specific Higher Education establishment in the United Kingdom in which institutional agendas (vis-à-vis historical and cultural foci, encouraging 'impactful' academic activity, brand exposure, economic efficiency, and community engagement) have contoured, and become entwined with, an embryonic sport heritage and archive project. Recalling similar arrangements elsewhere (Krüger 2014; Reilly, Clayton and Hughson 2014; Reilly 2015), the aim of this case study is to explore how the wider education and cultural policy context have precipitated an increasingly symbiotic and dependent relationship between university and cultural/arts initiatives. The paper considers how the impetus to develop a sports-based (basketball) heritage archive and study centre reflects the current fragilities of the two sectors, yet, concomitantly, reveals the potentials that might be developed from fostering greater intellectual and pragmatic alliances. The paper concludes by advocating the practical, political and ideological usefulness of network formation, sustainability measures and continued cross-sector dialogue.
  • Purdy, L., Kohe, G. and Paulauskas, R. (2017). Coaches as sport workers: professional agency within the employment context of elite European basketball. Sport, Education & Society [Online] 24:195-207. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2017.1323201.
    Increased activity of multiple stakeholders (e.g. agents and owners) have created new challenges for some coaches working in professional sports clubs. The purpose of this project was to draw attention to the normative or accepted practices inherent in sport work, some of the day-to-day realities of some coaches working in this context, and to understand how coaches' perceptions of other stakeholders come to bear on their individual circumstances, career expectations/objectives and professional agency. Data were generated from semi-structured interviews with seven professional basketball coaches who worked in top-level European clubs. The analysis reveals the coach's relationships between some owners and agents differed with respect to exercising professional agency, and, coach's decisions and actions were tied to their professional ideals as well as understandings of what they need to undertake their work effectively and negotiation and/or adjustment strategies. Occasionally coach's work practices could be viewed as antithetical to employment security, however, the presence of insecurity was at times embraced and used strategically to affect workers' career decisions. Amid contemporary regional geo-political shifts, this work aids examinations of global sport settings, structures and issues that may contour sporting professionals' lives
  • Kohe, G. and Purdy, L. (2016). In Protection of Whose “Wellbeing?” Considerations of “Clauses and A/Effects” in Athlete Contracts. Journal of Sport and Social Issues [Online] 40:218-236. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723516633269.
    Contractual agreements have become an accepted part of participation processes for athletes in a variety of sport contexts. Closer readings of these contracts,however, pose several questions regarding organizational intentions and motivations,the conceptualization of athletes as "workers," and representation parity. In this article, we draw on four types of athlete contractual documents from both select international "amateur" and "professional" sport settings. Our key considerations include athletes' ownership over their image and identities; medical and health disclosures; lifestyle, behavioral and body choices, and restrictions beyond sport; adherence to organizational philosophy and commitments; and social media and publicity constraints. Our exegesis here encourages sport researchers to deliberate whose "wellbeing" matters most when signing that seductive dotted line.
  • Kohe, G. (2015). For the Good of the Game? The Legacy of the Football Trust, the Football Pools, and the Dangerous Seduction of Political Promise. The International Journal of the History of Sport [Online] 32:1378-1394. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2015.1077810.
    During the late twentieth century, the United Kingdom's football infrastructure and spectatorship underwent transformation as successive stadia disasters heightened political and public scrutiny of the game and prompted industry change. Central to this process was the government's formation of an independent charitable organization to oversee subsequent policy implementation and grant-aid provision to clubs for safety, crowd, and spectator requirements. This entity, which began in 1975 focusing on ground improvement, developed into the Football Trust. The Trust was funded directly by the football pools companies who ran popular low-stakes football betting enterprises. Working in association with the Pools Promoters Association (PPA), and demonstrating their social responsibility towards the game's constituents, the pools resourced a wide array of Trust activities. Yet irrespective of government mandate, the PPA and Trust were continually confronted by political and economic obstacles that threatened the effectiveness of their arrangements. In this paper the history of the Football Trust is investigated, along with its partnership with the PPA, and its relationship with the government within the context of broader political shifts, stadia catastrophes, official inquiries, and commercial threats. It is contended that while the Trust/PPA partnership had a respectable legacy, their history afforded little protection against adverse contemporary conditions.
  • Kohe, G. (2015). Still Playing Together(?): A Recall to Physical Education and Sport History Intersections. The International Journal of the History of Sport [Online] 32:1745-1749. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2015.1098622.
    As academic disciplines, Physical Education and Sport History share interests in performance, participation, physique and the politics of corporeal praxis. Engendering unity between the two disciplines, however, has not been without concern. Scholars working within (and across) both fields have highlighted how the potential for shared knowledge production and meaning making has been, to a degree, stymied by epistemological and methodological criticism and trepidation. Issues over contextualization, rigour, narrative schemas, conceptualizations of the body, and notions of agency and power still, in particular, constrain our current educational and historical readings and renderings of physical culture(s). Scholarly schisms and methodological differences can be overcome, however, and need not prohibit disciplinary collaborations that might better address prevailing ethical questions and affect political cause; vis-à-vis the body, the physical and sport. This brief piece is, consequently, recourse to the scholarly symbiosis between Physical Education and Sport History and echoes the encouragement of our earlier colleagues to play, inquire, create and produce together.
  • Jirásek, I. and Kohe, G. (2015). Readjusting Our Sporting Sites/Sight: Sportification and the Theatricality of Social Life. Sport, Ethics & Philosophy [Online] 9:257-270. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17511321.2015.1065433.
    This paper points out the potential of using sport for the analysis of society. Cultivated human movement is a specific social and cultural subsystem (involving sport, movement culture and physical culture), yet it becomes a part of wider social discourses by extending some of its characteristics into various other spheres. This process, theorised as sportification, provides as useful concept to examine the permeation of certain phenomena from the area of sport into the social reality outside of sport. In this paper, we investigate the phenomena of sportification which we parallel with visual culture and spectatorship practices in the Renaissance era. The emphasis in our investigation is on theatricality and performativity; particularly, the superficial spectator engagement with modern sport and sporting spectacles. Unlike the significance afforded to visualisation and deeper symbolic interpretation in Renaissance art, contemporary cultural shifts have changed and challenged the ways in which the active and interacting body is positioned, politicised, symbolised and ultimately understood. We suggest here that the ways in which we view sport and sporting bodies within a (post)modern context (particularly with the confounding amalgamations of signs and symbols and emphasis on hyper-realities) has invariably become detached from sports' profound metaphysical meanings and resonance. Subsequently, by emphasising the associations between social theatrics and the sporting complex, this paper aims to remind readers of ways that sport—as a nuanced phenomenon—can be operationalised to help us to contemplate questions about nature, society, ourselves and the complex worlds in which we live.
  • Kohe, G. (2015). London 2012 (Re)calling: Youth memories and Olympic ‘legacy’ ether in the hinterland. International Review for the Sociology of Sport [Online] 52:24-44. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690215581604.
    Engendering interest and support among young people was a key strategy for the organisers of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Part of the approach entailed promoting the event as a context and inspirational catalyst to propel young people's proclivities toward, and enduring participation in, sport and physical activity. Although a variety of participatory platforms were entertained, the discipline of physical education remained a favoured space in which enduring Olympic imperatives could be amalgamated with government policy objectives. In this paper data are presented taken from the initial three years of a longitudinal study on young people's engagement with the London 2012 Olympic Games, sport, physical activity and physical education within the UK's West Midlands region. Memory scholarship is brought together with Olympic critiques, legacy debates, youth work and discussions about physical education to conceptualise participants' anticipations and recollections of the London 2012 Olympic Games as a triptych of narrative fragments: each provides insights regarding youth experiences and the remnants of Olympic ether in the country's hinterland. The paper offers a means subsequently to think differently about how we might play with the qualitative sociological/historiographical moments (experiences, voices, accounts, stories, etc.) that we capture in and through our work.
  • Kohe, G. and Bowen-Jones, W. (2015). Rhetoric and realities of London 2012 Olympic education and participation ‘legacies’: voices from the core and periphery. Sport, Education and Society [Online] 21:1213-1229. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2014.997693.
    A legacy emphasis was one of the fundamental pillars of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The notion of an Olympic legacy was predicated on assumptions that the event's value would not purely derive from the sporting spectacle, but rather, from the 'success' of enduring effects met out in London and across the country. For physical education students and practitioners, Olympic legacy agendas translated into persistent pressure to increase inspiration, engagement, participation and performance in the subject, sport and physical activity. Responding to this context, and cogniscent of significant disciplinary scholarship, this paper reports initial data from the first phase of a longitudinal study involving Key Stage Three (students aged 11-13) cohorts in two comparable United Kingdom schools: the first an inner-city (core) London school adjacent to the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London (n=150); the second, a (peripheral) school in the Midlands (n=198). The research involved the use of themed questionnaires focusing on self-reported attitudes toward the Olympic Games, and, experiences of physical education, sport and physical activity. Students from both schools demonstrated a wide variety of attitudes toward physical education and sport; yet, minor variances emerged regarding extreme enthusiasm levels. Both cohorts also expressed considerably mixed feelings toward the impending Olympic Games. Strong and variable responses were also reported regarding inspiration levels, ticketing acquisition and engagement levels. Consequently, this investigation can be read within the broader context of legacy debates, and, aligns well with physical educationalists' on-going discomfort regarding legacy imperatives being enforced upon the discipline and its practitioners. Our work reiterates a shared disciplinary scepticism that while an Olympic Games may temporarily affect young peoples' affectations for sport (and maybe physical education and physical activity), it may not provide the best, or most appropriate, mechanism for sustained attitudinal and/or social changes en masse.
  • Kohe, G. (2014). (Dis)located Olympic patriots: sporting connections, administrative communications and imperial ether in interwar New Zealand. Sport in Society [Online] 18:800-815. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2014.990686.
    During the interwar period (1919-1939) protagonists of the early New Zealand Olympic Committee NZOC worked to renegotiate and improve the country's international sporting participation and involvement in the International Olympic Committee IOC. To this end, NZOC effectively used its locally based administrators and well-placed expatriates in Britain to variously assert the organisation's nascent autonomy, independence and political power, progress Antipodean athlete's causes, and, counter any potential doubt about the nation's peripheral position in imperial sporting dialogues. Adding to the corpus of scholarship on New Zealand's ties and tribulations with imperial Britain (in and beyond sport) (e.g. Beilharz and Cox 2007; Belich 2001, 2007; Coombes 2006; MacLean 2010; Phillips 1984, 1987; Ryan 2004, 2005, 2007), in this paper I examine how the political actions and strategic location of three key NZOC agents (specifically, administrator Harry Amos and expatriates Arthur Porritt and Jack Lovelock) worked in their own particular ways to assert the position of the organisation within the global Olympic fraternity. I argue that the efforts of Amos, Porritt and Lovelock also concomitantly served to remind Commonwealth sporting colleagues (namely Britain and Australia) that New Zealand could not be characterised as, or relegated to being, a distal, subdued, or subservient colonial sporting partner. Subsequently I contend that NZOC's development during the interwar period, and particularly the utility of expatriate agents, can be contextualised against historiographical shifts that encourage us to rethink, reimagine, and rework narratives of empire, colonisation, national identity, commonwealth and belonging.
  • Kohe, G. (2014). Judging Jack: Rethinking Historical Agency and the Sport Hero. Sport History Review [Online] 45:200-219. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1123/shr.2012-0022.
    One aspect of the dizzying (aesthetic, cultural, linguistic, visual, and post-modern) "turns" Sport history has taken in recent times has been the revision/deconstruction of sporting heroes and demystification of historical narratives. This, in turn, has attended to larger historical concerns about the centrality of agents and agency in narrative making. Encouraged by these directions, this paper reconsiders the primacy afforded agents and their agency within national Olympic history creation. I examine revered 1930s track athlete Jack Lovelock who features predominantly within New Zealand's Olympic history. The paper aims to prompt contemplation about sport heroes. In particular, I argue sport historians should continue to decentre sport figures and bring alternate meanings, interpretations, and renderings of agents to the fore.
  • de Haan, D., Faull, A. and Kohe, G. (2013). Celebrating the social in soccer: spectators’ experiences of the forgotten (Blind) Football World Cup. Soccer & Society [Online] 15:578-595. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2013.828596.
    Sporting spaces draw together distinct social assortments. Football (in various forms), for example, generates specific types of spectators and spectator behaviours. Cognizant of this work, our paper examines the 2010 World Blind Football Championships (WBFC) and its spectatorship. We conducted semi-structured interviews, orientated around perceptions of disability/disability sport, with 285 spectators. The thrust of our paper is that the event affords spectators opportunities to better understand, appreciate and engage with the experiences of athletes with a disability. We argue that the unique context of blind football competitions (characterized here as an unthreatening, convivial, often familial-like, and somewhat parochial space) resulted in positive spectator experiences. We conclude that within the framework of bridging social capital, this unique sporting space afforded the creation of relationships between the athletes (and the sport) and the spectators, two groups previously separated by social distance.
  • Jirásek, I., Kohe, G. and Hurych, E. (2013). Reimagining athletic nudity: the sexualization of sport as a sign of a ‘porno-ization’ of culture. Sport in Society [Online] 16:721-734. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2012.753525.
    This paper traces some historical and contemporary instances in which sporting and other bodies naked physiques have been utilized to affect religious, social, ideological, or political agendas. We argue inherent aesthetic values of performative flesh have been lost (or minimized) in recent times which have, intentionally or otherwise, degraded, and objectified the naked body. To satisfy society's insatiable consumer needs and desires, bodies, especially sporting bodies, have been sexualized to the extreme. This overt sexualization is symptomatic of a wider porno-ization of Western (North American and European) culture and cultural products. Porno-ization (characterized by exploitative modes of production for pecuniary gain) has limited our contemporary readings, and respect for, the body and its educational, transformative, artistic, and emancipatory potential. Tentative though our theorization may be, we call readers to appreciate athletic nudity anew; to reimagine the eroticism of sporting bodies in cultural and aesthetic terms, akin to artistic appreciation, rather, than as provocative objects of sports' capitalistic desires.
  • Kohe, G. (2013). Our Distinguished Son: The New Zealand Olympic Committee and the Reappropriation of Jack Lovelock. Journal of Olympic History 21:28-38.
    During the 1920s, New Zealand, in common with other nations, experienced a period of fluctuating economic conditions, a changing political landscape, and, a resurgence of a (masculine) sports culture. Stronger trans-Tasman relations and a renewed sense of imperial allegiance, for instance, prompted nationalistic and patriotic resurgence. In addition, regional parochialism challenged the partisanship of central government, growing discontent among working class labourers over wage and working conditions rocked trade industries, concerns over indigenous health and welfare thwarted racial harmony; and global conflict threatened national security and colonial ties. These tumultuous forces precipitated a reappraisal of New Zealand?s economic position, national direction, identity, and culture, which, in turn, also influenced the country?s sports organisations. Indeed, sport was an active constituent in many of the social and cultural tensions and conflicts in New Zealand life. Social and cultural forces also influenced the amateur New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) and its involvement in the Olympic Movement. During this time NZOC sent the country?s first ?national? team to an Olympic Games and athletes celebrated the first exclusively ?New Zealand? Olympic victories. In what follows I examine how NZOC capitalised on the expertise and popularity of Jack Lovelock - one of the country?s top scholars and emerging middle-distance running star of the 1930s ? to help develop the organisation and prepare it for future adversities. By re-appropriating Lovelock for their own purposes, I contend, NZOC fortified their own public persona (by basking in reflected glory), and, showed their professional responsibility by demonstrating an attentiveness to athlete concerns; both of which became enduring issues for the organisation.
  • Kohe, G. (2012). Reflexivity in the Apologetic Aeon: NZOC’s Return to Moscow. Museum & Society [Online] 10:121-140. Available at: https://journals.le.ac.uk/ojs1/index.php/mas/article/view/204.
    There has been an emergent trend among governments, and within sports organizations, to engage in public apologies. These politically orchestrated attempts to recall, forgive (and potentially forget) are typically orientated toward smoothing past injustices and advocating reconciliation. Such remembering, reflexivity, and criticality are not typically characteristic of Olympic organizations and/or sport museums. However, New Zealand?s Olympic Committee (NZOC) has caught the apology bug. As part of its impending centennial celebrations, NZOC is reflecting on the consequences of its past (in)actions. Accordingly, this study analyses and evaluates the recent launch of NZOC museum?s 1980 Moscow exhibition and its ?apology? to athletes excluded from the 1980 Olympic team. I question NZOC?s desire to apologize. I then argue the exhibit and apology established a new, and needed, connection between NZOC and its colourful past. Within this public history exemplar are promising signs of the critically-framed histories academics encourage.
  • Kohe, G. (2012). Decorative Dashes: Disrobing the Fabric of Streaking. Costume: The Journal of the Costume Society [Online] 46:197-211. Available at: http://costumesociety.org.uk/journal/costume-volume-46-number-2-2012.
    As often as some athletes don their lycra and emblazoned shirts and shorts, others are as frequently disrobing and dashing across sport spaces. Yet, while nude performance remains not uncommon in such cultural domains as dance and theatre, its place in sport is contested, malign, and often misconstrued. Taking cues from body, sexuality, and nudity scholars such as Barcan (2004), Carr-Gomm (2010), Kirkpatrick (2010), and Martin (1991) and Shilling (2008), this paper explores the complexities of streaking and intertwining associations with sport and wider social, cultural, and political contexts. I consider how ongoing debate over nudity and nakedness, and clothed and unclothed bodies, create a space for us to consider streaking as a valid bodily mobility and aesthetically valuable practice. By rehearsing instances where streaking bodies have been thrust into various forms of (political, social, cultural, ideological) action, I argue, that we might move beyond conceiving streaking as an act of comical deviance, flagrant criminality, or ?anti-costume?; but rather, as an acceptable mode of physicality; with its own innate aesthetic value, corporeal qualities, and individual and collective meanings.
  • Kohe, G. and Newman, J. (2011). Body Commons: Toward an Interdisciplinary Study of the Somatic Spectacular. Brogla: An Australian Journal About Dance [Online] 35:65-74. Available at: https://ausdance.org.au/articles/details/body-commons-toward-an-interdisciplinary-study-of-the-somatic-spectacular.
    Recently, many Western societies have indulgently produced and consumed a new theatre of corporeality. In this paper, we explore the explosion of corporeal (kinesthetic) forms as evidenced in mass-media discourse—as evoked by ?reality? television shows like Dancing with the stars and So you think you can dance?, and in contemporary agent provocateurs such as the spectacle and spectacular(ised) Lady Gaga. Drawing on Turner?s (1992) notion of the ?somatic society?, Shilling?s (2006) theorizing on the body sociological, and McLaren?s (1995) Freire-inspired examinations of critical pedagogy, we argue that these forms share, we suggest, commonalities with the spectacularised and politicised physcailties of sporting bodies oft-polemicised by body sociologists, feminist critics, and cultural studies scholars (to name but a few). Each is thrust into public sphere is heretofore unimaginably spectacular ways; each is judged, subjected, and disciplined along performative norms; each is transformed into somatic currency for capital accumulation. Thusly, we offer a new lens toward a radically-contextually, anti-disciplinary, corporeally-engaged, critical (public) body pedagogic.
  • Kohe, G. (2010). Civic Representations of Sport History: the New Zealand Sport Hall of Fame. Sport in Society [Online] 13:1498 -1515. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2010.520939.
    Sports halls of fame and sports museums have an important role in presenting sport history to a public audience. Utilizing the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in Dunedin, I argue that these places construct and represent sport history in particular ways that tend to enhance positive aspects of the sports ethic and a respectful reverence toward sporting figures. I discuss the affective values of historical artefacts, the distinction between sports halls of fame and sport museums, the religious quality of these aesthetic sites, and the importance of nostalgia in creating memorable visitor experiences. I consider how our understanding and critique of these civic spaces can be informed by debates over form and content in historical presentation. A brief review of the Sports Hall of Fame is followed by an alternative proposal that reconceives the role of academic sports historians within the domain of public sports history.
  • Kohe, G. and Hughson, J. (2010). Get into the ’Groove’: Travelling Otago’s Super Region. Sport in Society [Online] 13:1552-1566. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2010.520942.
    This essay sets out the plan for Groove, a tourist experience connecting the destinations of Dunedin and Queenstown in New Zealand's South Island, Otago region. Inspiration is drawn from the inter-urban planning ideas of the English architect Will Alsop for the development of a 'super region' to maximize the public benefit from a potential, but as yet unrealized, coordinated tourism strategy. We argue the case for academics to take up an initiatory role as 'public intellectuals', in this case by promoting a tourism experience rather than merely being responsive critics to the plans proposed by government and private enterprise interest groups. Within the argument we advance a position of 'postmodern boosterism', which locates us as the 'soft drivers' of a plan involving tourism development intended for the public good. We make our proposal not so much in the expectation that it will be taken up as an actual blueprint sometime soon, but in the hope that it moves an imaginative tourism idea a little closer to the planner's table.
  • Kohe, G. (2010). The Unexceptional: New Zealand’s Very Ordinary Olympic History. Sport History Review [Online] 41:146-163. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/shr.41.2.146.

Book section

  • Kohe, G. and Peters, D. (2016). High Performance Disability Sport Coaching: Introduction. In: Kohe, G. and Peters, D. eds. High Performance Disability Sport Coaching. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 1-6. Available at: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/High-Performance-Disability-Sport-Coaching-by-Geoffery-Z-Kohe-editor-Derek-M-Peters-editor/9781138860360.
    As the profile of disability sport has risen, so has the emphasis grown beyond participation to include the development of a high performance environment. This book is the first to take an in-depth look at the role of coaches and coaching in facilitating the professionalisation of disability sport, in raising performance standards, and as an important vector for the implementation of significant political, socio-cultural and technological change. Using in-depth case studies of elite disability sport coaches from around the world, the book offers a framework for critical reflection on coaching practice as well as the reader?s own experiences of disability sport. The book also evaluates the vital role of the coach in raising the bar of performance in a variety of elite level disability sports, including athletics, basketball, boccia, equestrian sport, rowing, soccer, skiing, swimming and volleyball. Providing a valuable evidence-based learning resource to support coaches and students in developing their own practice, High Performance Disability Sport Coaching is essential reading for all those interested in disability sport, coaching practice, elite sport development and the Paralympic Games.
  • Kohe, G. and Peters, D. (2016). Beyond High Performance Disability Sports Coaching?. In: Kohe, G. and Peters, D. eds. High Performance Disability Sport Coaching. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 186-207. Available at: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/High-Performance-Disability-Sport-Coaching-by-Geoffery-Z-Kohe-editor-Derek-M-Peters-editor/9781138860360.
    As the profile of disability sport has risen, so has the emphasis grown beyond participation to include the development of a high performance environment. This book is the first to take an in-depth look at the role of coaches and coaching in facilitating the professionalisation of disability sport, in raising performance standards, and as an important vector for the implementation of significant political, socio-cultural and technological change. Using in-depth case studies of elite disability sport coaches from around the world, the book offers a framework for critical reflection on coaching practice as well as the reader?s own experiences of disability sport. The book also evaluates the vital role of the coach in raising the bar of performance in a variety of elite level disability sports, including athletics, basketball, boccia, equestrian sport, rowing, soccer, skiing, swimming and volleyball. Providing a valuable evidence-based learning resource to support coaches and students in developing their own practice, High Performance Disability Sport Coaching is essential reading for all those interested in disability sport, coaching practice, elite sport development and the Paralympic Games.

Edited book

  • Kohe, G. and Peters, D. (2016). High Performance Disability Sport Coaching. [Online]. Kohe, G. and Peters, D. eds. Abingdon: Routledge. Available at: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/High-Performance-Disability-Sport-Coaching-by-Geoffery-Z-Kohe-editor-Derek-M-Peters-editor/9781138860360.
    As the profile of disability sport has risen, so has the emphasis grown beyond participation to include the development of a high performance environment. This book is the first to take an in-depth look at the role of coaches and coaching in facilitating the professionalisation of disability sport, in raising performance standards, and as an important vector for the implementation of significant political, socio-cultural and technological change. Using in-depth case studies of elite disability sport coaches from around the world, the book offers a framework for critical reflection on coaching practice as well as the reader?s own experiences of disability sport. The book also evaluates the vital role of the coach in raising the bar of performance in a variety of elite level disability sports, including athletics, basketball, boccia, equestrian sport, rowing, soccer, skiing, swimming and volleyball. Providing a valuable evidence-based learning resource to support coaches and students in developing their own practice, High Performance Disability Sport Coaching is essential reading for all those interested in disability sport, coaching practice, elite sport development and the Paralympic Games.

Internet publication

  • Koutrou, N. and Kohe, G. (2020). Expert Comment: Response to Scottish FA’s Head Contact Ban [Internet Publication]. Available at: https://www.kent.ac.uk/news/society/24025/expert-comment-response-to-scottish-fas-head-contact-ban?fbclid=IwAR19NEr3FhjLZHB_H4Sh8knGQVdiF9zTf1pfQiQ3vZAmWjGcg7bOgOEe_Tk.
    Following the news that the Scottish FA is due to ban under-12s from heading footballs in training sessions, Dr Niki Koutrou (Programme Director for Sport Management) and Dr Geoff Kohe (Lecturer in Sport Management and Policy), have provided comment on how the head contact ban can be seen as a positive movement, yet sport organisations need to act beyond this to safeguard young people.


  • Kohe, G. (2018). Book review. Marianne Schultz, Performing Indigenous Culture on Stage and Screen: A Harmony of Frenzy. Dance Research [Online] 36:113-116. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3366/drs.2018.0224.
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